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Unread 04-22-2008, 06:46 PM   #1
Fairview
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Thinset layer over heating cables - how smooth does it need to be?

My bathroom is being redone, and I've got the following going onto the floor:

3/4 ply glued/screwed
3/8 Halex ply screwed to the 3/4
Nuheat heating cables
Thinset (Versabond Grey)
Ditra
Thinset
Marble

So far we're up to the modifed Versabond Grey bed over the heating cables. The tiler left the surface a little less than perfectly smooth - some ridges etc., trowel marks and the like. It's consistently thick and covering the cables properly, just not really smooth.

Is this a problem for the Ditra going on next? Most of the pics I've seen of the bed covering heating cables is SLC, so nice and smooth, reflective when wet etc. like an ice rink.

Sorry - no pics for the moment.
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Unread 04-22-2008, 07:10 PM   #2
muskymike
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Hi there, gotta first name we can use? You want it pretty smooth. You are using white thinset for the marble right?
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Unread 04-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
oregoncoast
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When I did my bathroom

I was able to smooth the thinset out like you said, nearly like an ice rink.

My question is why are you putting the Ditra down in the first place. I was able to secure the tile on top of the heating the next day. The thinset for the tile application stuck to the initial layer bedding the wires. That was the instructions I received with the Warmly Yours brand heat I used. Thanks JB for the link and info on this site.

Are you in need of a a waterproof surface? Is this actually in the shower area? Our installation has been operational for two years now. Walking into the bath from the laundry room one will instantly feel the floor is warm to the bare toosties. We use the floor heat as the primary means for heating the bath. At 72 degrees on the floor the room is a comfortable 68 all the time. Love the smart thermostat that only turns the floor on a little each time and not full bore.

later DAS
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Unread 04-22-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
Fairview
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Hi - sorry - Tim here.

I know thinset can be made nice and smooth, which is prompting my question, as my tiler didn't make it perfectly smooth. I haven't had the chance to ask him about it - will do so tomorrow.

The Ditra is going down just as a little extra insurance for the marble floor, and it wasn't a lot of money. The room is 90 square feet, and the Ditra was $160 or so. Seems like a product of choice for a great many people, so I jumped on the bandwagon too

Yes to the white thinset for the marble - no question. Also just to reconfirm, I'm not the one doing the work - I'm writing the cheques.
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Unread 04-22-2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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Hi DAS, I would assume he's usuing Ditra because he's on plywood.
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Unread 04-22-2008, 07:42 PM   #6
oregoncoast
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Gottcha

I was so involved with my response I missed that. I was able to install on concrete basement floor with mine.

Thanks, DAS
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Unread 04-22-2008, 07:43 PM   #7
284
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Quote:
I know thinset can be made nice and smooth, which is prompting my question, as my tiler didn't make it perfectly smooth. I haven't had the chance to ask him about it - will do so tomorrow.
:lol:
Tim, you have enough information to be dangerous. I did a two bathroom job for a former maintenance man when he was in college. PITA. I spent more time explaining to him what I was doing, and why..and also answering questions they created in their noggins from some some manufacturer's/reps websites.

"well, i read/heard..."

My recommendation (via the internet of course) it to let your tradesman do his/her work. Look at the end result and be the judge. I mean, after all, you spec'd a product just because other people you read on the net were using it.

I believe in california, hot mopping showers is still required. So everyone there does it. Might want to bring that up to your tradesman.
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Unread 04-22-2008, 08:11 PM   #8
Fairview
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The way I look at it, from a technical perspective, what my pro is doing is pretty straightforward.

Versabond Gray spread out over the Halex plywood/heating cables (which I installed)
Unmodified thinset spread with a notched trowel as per Schluter specs and the Ditra pressed in
White unmodified thinset spread over the Ditra with another different notched trowel and the marble set with 1/16 grout lines
Grout
Seal

So from a technical perspective, I like to know what is going on and why. Once I understand that, I'm hands-off and let the artistry, decades of experience, 'touch' etc. of the professional installer be showcased.

And at the end of the day, I'm the one dishing out the thousands for a heated marble tiled floor and thousands more for the fixtures going on top of it. Of course I'm also the guy who has to live with it for decades after. If I didn't know exactly what went into the finished product and why, I'd never sleep at night.
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